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Turn Your Fear of “What if” into Love of “What is”

 “Fear-based living crushes joy, dismantles relationships, increases stress and shortens life. Choose love.”

Man in the aircraft is drinking water

I used to be terrified of flying.

Every time I’d leave the airport terminal for the plane I was convinced it was for the last time. Even the terms around flying scared me: terminal, hangar, turbulence, crash positions,oxygen mask.

I’d find my seat, sit down, look around and wonder how everyone around me could be so at peace. Didn’t they know what was about to happen?

Overtime, I used three exercises to transform my fear of crashing into a joy of flying. I am sharing these tips so that you can work to shift your anxieties into opportunities, too. I used them with flying, but also with public speaking, networking events, sales calls. They have transformed my business and life!

Friends, fear-based living crushes joy, dismantles relationships, increases stress and shortens life. [Tweet this.]
It’s time to make the shift from fear of what might happen to love of what’s really happening. Here we go:

  1. Know the facts! Fear is often based on things that are NOT likely to happen! So first I researched the actual risks of flying. I learned that on average there is only one plane crash for every 1.4 million flights (which equals fewer than 200 deaths in plane crashes annually). Compare that to nearly 400,000 deaths due to heart disease (which can be triggered by stress) and I just talked myself into cutting down fear to decrease stress!
  2. Let it go! Part of my fear was rooted in giving control to someone else. Part of what liberated me from my 36,000 foot bout with fear was having faith in others, in their expertise, in technology and in the fact that ultimately God works in all things. This simple act of surrendering freed me immensely, not just while flying, but also in life.
  3. Reframe it! Most fears center around the negative perception of what might happen to us. Reframing it frees us to consider instead: how might this actually result in a gift for others? How might making these sales calls benefit your clients; how might quitting smoking today allow your daughter to see you at her wedding tomorrow? I used to think about worst-case scenarios for me. Now I can’t wait to take off, touch down and share my message with individuals so they can take back their life, ignite their possibility and change their world.

This process has freed me to actually enjoy the process of boarding, taxiing, flying, and interacting with other passengers…even the grumpy ones. Away from wi-fi, cell phones, and meetings: flying is now my most productive time of the week.

Occasionally, I find myself staring out the window in awe of what is: the marvel of air travel, the stunning beauty of the sky and the gift of finally seeing it.

Friend, what exercises have worked as you’ve chosen to rise above fears in your life, business and relationships? Share one example in the comments below. I can’t wait to add yours to my list!

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0 replies on “Turn Your Fear of “What if” into Love of “What is””

I actually say the rosary to myself. I don’t know all the mysteries, but have found that just saying the “Hail Marys” and the “Our Fathers” calms me down. Things don’t seem as upsetting or insurmountable.

Great quote about fear! I realized that if I take myself out of the thoughts that are causing the fear – usually self-doubt – and do something for someone else, it grounds me again and I can put myself in a positive frame of mind. I can enjoy my job again, and not think that everyone is going to be mad or disappointed in something that just doesn’t exist. It changes the “self-talk” into positive affirmations.

Kelly – thx and so true. Stop making it about “me” and focus on others…a lot of times in doing so we are able to realize the big hurdles aren’t quite so big. Thanks for the insights! J


As a young man I was terrified of public speaking. After analyzing why I determined thorough prepareation was the key. Now it is fun. Especially the Q and A portion.

Awesome! Figure out the key to overcome fear + bake it into your process = overcome fear. Love it. Thanks for sharing! J

I have been known most my life as “Fearless”…that comes from the underlying thought that the worst that could happen is I might die…and in the long run moving on to the promised eternal life I believe in would not be so bad.

That said a more practical way I overcame claustraphobia was to join my fraternity brothers on a caving trip knowing that my fear of ridicule was worse than my fear of tight spaces.

Andy – brother – could not agree more about the promised eternal life. Puts worldly fears into perspective. Also, love the idea of pitting one fear against the other – that is both funny and really helpful! Now, tell me, how do you overcome your fear of public ridicule? J

John, one of my “tricks” is to tell myself “I CAN do this one time” or “for one day” or “one hour” or whatever. I think about how many days there have been in my life and the thing I am afraid of doing just once is small in comparison.

Then after I’ve done it once, I can commit to doing it again – or not. But I don’t worry about making that decision until AFTER I’ve done it that one time.

Have a great week!

Paula, I love this! What an empowering way to think about it..thanks for sharing your tip and for ALL that you do. J

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